About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Cat or Not To Cat

I'm thinking about getting a cat. That isn't her on the right, just one that sort of looks like her. Except she's a lot prettier.

Now let me be clear. I've always been a dog person. The bigger the better. I never had a cat as a kid, but did have one for about 12 years when I was married. That cat was a miserable one - it liked to sit on your lap but then if you petted it too long, it'd turn around and hiss at you. I always said, "Never again."

But several friends have cats and I've gotten to know them a bit better. So I started researching them a bit. I decided that if I got one, I'd get a British Shorthair. However, I hadn't really gotten around to really looking since I figured I should get through my surgery first.

About a month ago, I walked past the pet store next to where I go for massage therapy. There in the window was a 5 year-old orange and white female cat named Olivia. Well, I stopped in and talked to her for a while and she seemed to think I was okay. Her family had moved and couldn't take her with them, so had given her to the humane association to find her a new home. I looked at all the stats on her and thought that she would make some lucky person very happy.

So probably about twice a week since then, I stop in to say "Hi Olivia." The second time I went in, she came right to me and rubbed up against the cage towards me and let me touch her gently. I asked if anyone had shown any interest in her and was told that a couple had applied to adopt her. So, I thought "Okay, she'll get adopted."

However, just because you apply, you don't necessarily get her. They want Olivia to have a good home where someone be around most of the time, would really love her, and not end up taking her back. They want a home with no other pets and preferably no children. Well, that's me.

Today, Olivia was still there so I started thinking more seriously about her. And today I also talked to a couple of friends who are encouraging me to go and get her. Both have offered to come with me to see her and I just might go tomorrow night. But first I have to ask one of my daughters if she'll look after her for me when I'm in the hospital and if she'll help out with her for a while when I come home. The other daughter is worried because she says her son is "highly allergic" to cats. But then her husband said that if I wanted a cat I should get one and that they don't come over that often anyway and Noah would be fine.

So what do you think? I've been told having a pet is very helpful when recovering from something like what I'm facing. She would be good company and some"one" to chat with when I'm home alone.


Anonymous said...

I'm having the same sort of problem, my kids and I would prefer a dog, but a cat is probably a more sensible option.

Jay.Cee said...

I would TOTALLY look after her when you're out of commish with your back and if you/when you go away!

My only concern is the same as the other daughter...Noah *is* very allergic to cats...his asthma almost fully went away when the kitties went to new homes, and since puppy went to doggy heaven, his asthma is almost nil.

There's also the new baby to keep in mind...we've no idea if she'll have allergies and how strong they might be. Chances are, she'll follow her brother's lead (which followed Jay's lead) with respiratory problems/allergies...we can hope NOT but it's a big chance.

So be prepared for no overnight visits at the least, and possibly NO visits...especially if you already know Olivia doesn't like/isn't good with kids...you wouldn't want to stress her out...cats who get stressed out can hiss/scratch/bite, or have other problems like diarrhea, hairballs, anxiety etc.

It's a big decision, even though you live on your own...but I also think it would be really good for you to have a companion that doesn't need more exercise than for you to dangle a string around haha.

sally in norfolk said...

Go for it ...iam sure you will not regret it :-)

RiverPoet said...

You know I can't imagine life without my animals. I have cats and dogs. My cat, CC, is stuck to me like glue during my horrible bouts with migraines. She purrs and nuzzles me and makes me feel better. She is not afraid to "be there." Cats are great. You'll love her, and it seems that you already do.

Peace - D

Jeni said...

Thank you for visiting and your comments on my tablecloth. The stitch called for in the flowers was supposed to be a "long and short" stitch -kind of like the satin stitch, but a little different. I'm not sure how to do it so my methodology there probably is not correct and I'm sure it could have been much better/nicer/neater. But it's done now and I'm happy with it.
About the cat issue though, my younger daughter and her family and I live together. Daughter is very,very much a cat person but her husband says he is allergic to cats. One cat we used to have, he said bothered him immensely but another cat, longer haired, didn't seem to bother him at all. Now, we have a shorter haired cat and one of her kittens which the SIL pets, doesn't seem to upset his allergy applecart at all -go figure, I guess. But I do know people who are so sensitive to cats that their allergies go really off the charts as soon as they set foot in a house where cats have been. Tough decision for you as cats are great pets, fairly low maintenance as well. Maybe something can be found to help the grandson to ease his problems if he is around your place and the cat for short periods. Good luck with this. Hope you come back and visit again too.

Trubes said...

Hi Leslie;
I would let my head rule my heart here. Noah would not be able to visit or 'stay over' and Eden is more than likely to be allergic too.
I know antihistamines help but no mother would want to give her child drugs if not absolutely neccessary. This is exactly what would have to happen when he visits.
Also antihistamines can have nasty side-effects, so you wouldn't want to subject your darling little chap to that, would you?

Sorry to be so brutally frank but I feel this could cause a rift with your family if you went ahead.

As you probably know I am very much a 'cat person', but can't have a dog and I love dogs, DT is desperately allergic to them and they cause him to have asthmatic attacks, even when taking anthistamines.

Can you not have a little dog instead, as long as the children arn't allergic to dawgies too!

Again, I am sorry to be so frank but, as I know how much you love and care for each other, it would be so awful if you had an upset!
So, I totally agree with Jay.cee on this one...sorry sorry sorry...
my friend x


Daryl said...

DO it ... she's got a connection to you .. and I am sure your cat lover friends will tell you that you DO NOT pick a cat, they pick you .. I am thinking that is exactly the case here ...

And a five yr old is settled and wont do any clawing of furniture or carpets .. but do buy her a scratching post .. just to be sure

You will never regret it ....


Jo said...

Leslie, if you're not a cat person, you are not aware of the fact that you do not adopt a cat, the cat adopts you.

Olivia has adopted you. She is waiting for you to take her home!

nancygrayce said...

Benedryl.....we keep it on hand and when allergic people visit, they get one on the way in the door. I have a friend who bathes (wouldn't even try that with mine) her cat because she's allergic. My only advice is not to forget they SHED! My beautiful curtains are so hairy. We got rid of all carpet because of that too. But don't let me discourage you. :)

leslie said...

Thanks for all your input, everyone!

jay.cee (above) is D#2 so she's fine with it all.

D#1 and I had a loooong chat this morning and the only thing is that the g'kids won't be able to sleep over, but they'll see how the kids do on visits.

I have hardwood downstairs so swiffering every day is my solution there. Also, the lady at the store told me there are special "wipes" for the cat to keep its dander under control. I also have a hand vacuum to do the furniture frequently. Also, no drapes, just blinds.

Long story short, my friend Cathy (with a C) is going to come with me to take another look at Olivia today. She has not yet been adopted as the people who had applied for her were denied. Is this perhaps a sign?

jams o donnell said...

I say get a cat. I'm sure there is one out there with your name on it!

Leslie said...

Hi Leslie - look, I had dogs for over 40 years!

We had poodles, then I got a corgi, then we had labs, a great Dane for a while, two different Pekingeses, then a blasted yappy chihuahua.

OK, for the last few years, I have only had cats. We started with one, and ended up with three. They are SO much easier to look after and more entertaining to watch.

They sleep for about up to 20 hours a day. Mine go back to sleep, very soundly, at 7am, and wake up at about 4pm.

I have several scratching posts, and my furniture has never been wrecked.

Each cat has a completely different personality - so that one that hissed at you? - It will be different from all the other cats, just like people.

Olivia sounds like she is waiting for you. :)

Oh, and the best toys are free. Things you already have in the house.

You know The Borrowers quote - Who is it who keeps taking all of my little things?

Well it's Pyewacket! My siamese!

Oh, and my cats live indoors.

leslie said...

Thanks Leslie! I was always a dog person, too, but I love all animals really. And now I know I can't handle a dog anymore because of all my back problems. So a cat makes sense. One of the best toys we ever had for the other cat was a piece of newspaper crumpled up tightly and then wound with string. We left a long string "handle" to let it swing back and forth and the cat loved batting at it. We also made ones that we would skid along the floor and she'd go chasing it. Yes, i think because of my enforced sedentary lifestyle a cat would be better than a dog.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Get her, you have already formed a bond. I am a cat addict, always have been and currently have 3 babies. They are the best company, so loving and just seem to know our moods and accommodate us.

GO for it Leslie

leslie said...

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Here's the scoop (no pun intended! lol)

I went down to the pet store and spent a long time there. I was still unsure, but then I started getting all sneezy and felt like I had cat hair in my mouth. I had to wash my clothes and have a shower. So guess what! I think I'M allergic!

So I will just pray that Olivia gets a good home. But she can't come and live with me. :(

meggie said...

I think Olivia might have chosen you! It sounds as if she has stolen your heart.
Our son has an initial reaction to cats, then he settles down. His last housemates had a cat, who much preferred him, to his real owners!